Posted in Poetry

22) I’m Back. And Sorry. And Semi-Inspired. // People Are Paintings.

07.07.18.

11.50 pm

 

Hi. So it’s obviously been a while, and I obviously never finished that 20 Sundays blogging challenge thing last year (I was close, though *points accusing finger at vulnerable self*), and you obviously don’t care, BUT, I’m back (!) and even more uninspired than when I took a break from here!!! How uncanny, right??? I see you and your judgmental poker face and honestly, same bruh, same.

On a serious note, though, I really am at a complete loss of inspiration and trying to navigate my way through this ultimatum of creativity block where I can’t seem to bring myself to absolutely anything even remotely creative or cathartic or expressive (do any of them well, that is), whether it’s writing or art journaling or pseudo-photography or even just basic DIYs or doodling. So I figured I’d give my WordPress blog another try since it’s one of the only things I haven’t yet turned to in my attempt to fight this block, or at least survive as unscathed as I possibly can.

And so, here we are (again). But since I can’t seem to make/create things lately, I figured till I get to that point again, I’ll just type out some old poems of mine that I’d written in my very first journal and share some of them here and on my Instagram account. Hopefully, that’ll help me get into the rhythm of things again, even if slowly and steadily.

Since the poems are really old ones, though, they’re obviously even more haphazard, lame, and/or cringe-worthy than my more recent ones. But if you’ll bear with me through this process (my condolences if you do), that’d be really lovely of you.

So yeah, without further ado, here’s one of the aforementioned poems that I wrote sometimes last year, along with the vaguely described inspiration for it:

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The pseudo-inspiration behind the poem
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The original version of the poem
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The typed out version

 

As always, thanks for sticking around.

 

With lots of love & regards,

Vixen.

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Posted in 20 Sundays

21) 20 Sundays, Weeks 17-18 – Crafter’s Expo 2017 Haul

10.12.17.

6.53 pm

 

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The fact that we’re already almost halfway through December freaks me out more than I’d like to admit. Time just keeps flying by at a pace I’m constantly struggling to not only keep up with but also fathom, and I can’t help but wonder if that’s ever going to change.

 

I missed last week’s post because it took me a while to motivate myself to take pictures of my haul from The Crafter’s Expo 2017, which itself was last week, and by the time I did I was too tired to get myself to write about it. The whole winter laziness thing interlaced with my already innate procrastinating personality is a recipe for, well, not disaster per say, but more like a scenic tumbleweed moment that’s constantly on replay. Nothing gets done and frankly, I don’t even seem to care anymore. Here’s hoping I can handle at least some of the regrets that are sure to follow.

 

But I digress, so let me just get to the haul. I hope you’ll forgive the mediocrity of my pictures and that you’ll be able to understand whatever barfing of words is about to come your way because I’m stuffing my face with cup noodles as I type this.

 

So I don’t exactly remember the names of the individual stalls I got each item from, and I only remember the prices of some of them, but I did take a business card from every stall I bought at least something from and from stalls I didn’t get anything from that day but would like to check out and order from at some point. I’ll add a picture of the business cards at the end.

 

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So the first items I purchased, all from the same stall, were a necklace that says ‘wanderlust’, two badges, one of which says ‘do what makes your soul happy’, and a really cute plastic coaster that says ‘sassy since birth’. The necklace was for Rs. 600 which might seem a little overpriced but I think it was worth it because I love the vintage look of it and I’d been passively looking for a necklace of this style for a while now. The badges were for Rs. 100 which was the same price as pretty much all the other stalls selling badges. The coaster was for Rs. 200 and looking back, I so regret not getting more from that stall because they had a lot of really nice designs but I tried to hold myself back thinking I’d end up buying lots of coasters from multiple stalls. That wasn’t the case, though, because not a many stalls had designs I liked and by the time I’d realized that, I was too tired to go through the crowd again to reach this particular one. Oh well.

 

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I got this gorgeous miniature painting for Rs. 450 and adorable Japanese doll pencil for Rs. 150, both of which I absolutely love. The stall I got them from had a lot of other beautiful oil paintings of different sizes, and I really wish I could have bought them all because I fell in love with how stunning they are and couldn’t stop staring every time I passed by. I even took a picture of the display because I how much I loved them.

 

 

I got 3 more badges, the two on the left from the same stall and the one on the right from a stall called ‘Junkies.’ They were each for Rs. 300. Junkies was the lost stall I stopped at in the entire expo during my last look around and I was so upset about that because out of all the badges I’d seen, they the best designs and variety, at least in my opinion, but I was in a hurry because my neighbor was waiting for me so I couldn’t browse their items for very long. Sigh.

 

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I got this really pretty and light but good quality scarf from a stall that was selling scarves, hijab caps, and safety pins. I don’t usually like scarf shopping myself for reasons that are weird to explain, but this was so pretty and I realized that I didn’t have any nice black scarves so even though it was a little overpriced at Rs 950, I decided to get it anyway. I actually tried it on the next day then and it was quite comfy and easy to manage, and everyone loved how it looked. So, all in all, it was worth it.

 

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I fell in love with this handmade hardback journal as soon as I saw it, but after hearing it was for Rs 700 (overpriced for its size), I had to keep it back. But the stall itself was so captivating with gorgeously painted hanging lamps and beautiful notebooks of all sizes, and my mind was set on this particular one every time I saw it from afar, and it was the only one of its kind there because the owner was experimenting with this style and wanted to see the reception towards it, so the third or fourth time I passed by the stall (I kept passing by on purpose just because I was so drawn in by the aesthetic of it), I figured ‘what the heck’ and bought it just because I knew I’d regret it more if I didn’t. I’m so glad I made that decision because I adore this notebook and having it feeds my hoarder tendencies in a way that is nothing short of wholesome.

Also, the size is 15×10 inches, in case if you were wondering.

 

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These two items are probably my favourite from my entire haul. I’d been wanting to buy some arts-y coasters for a while now and I loved pretty much all the ones at this stall, but these bicycle print ones caught my eye the most. I only wanted one or two, though, and they had designs that were available as single coasters, but these ones came in a set of 4 for Rs. 650 (that’s Rs. 160 per coaster, making these the cheapest priced coasters I saw in the entire expo), so I hesitated a little but they were so worth it. everywhere else I saw plastic coasters but these were a baked clay type of material which made them even more aesthetical and earthy, which I love. Now that I have them, though, I don’t think I’ll be able to bring myself to use them so I’ll probably just make use of them as décor because they look stunning, in my opinion.

 

And these pegs! I’m so in love with them (I’’m in love with everything I bought lol) and the detail of the artwork on them is amazing. They each have magnets on the back and they came with hooks and string as well, so they’re also quite versatile. I’m not sure exactly how I want to use them yet, but I’d been looking for aesthetical pegs for a while and these gorgeous ones were only Rs. 150 (from the same stall as the coasters) which was really a steal. I just regret not buying one or two more sets, because I don’t know if I’ll ever find ones like these again. They’re so unique and beautifully painted, I’m still in complete awe.

 

So yeah, that was my haul. I think my total damage was 4k which was more than I thought I’d end up spending but this was the first time I went to the expo so I think a little splurging was warranted. While shopping I thought I was getting too much because I had a lot to carry, but after I first saw my haul when I got home I thought I’d actually gotten more and regretted not getting a pair of cushions I’d been eyeing there as well. After I saw the damage I’d done to my already weeping wallet, though, I realized it was a good thing I didn’t get them since I can always order them online instead. And well, yeah.

 

I’m adding a picture of all the business cards I got from the different stalls I either bought from or plan on looking up, so do check them out because they’re all great and they all sell online as well!

 

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Regards,

V.

Posted in 20 Sundays

20) 20 Sundays, Weeks 13-16 – 4 Sundays, 5 Life Updates

26.11.17.

5.22 pm

I guess I overestimated myself when I thought I’d actually stick to this challenge but it wasn’t really laziness that made me not post for pretty much a month, it was more of an ‘I genuinely don’t know what to write about’ or ‘I genuinely forgot’ kind of thing. Plus life has been a little weird and chaotically mundane lately, if that makes sense. But I’m trying to bounce back and I figured one good way doing that would be to talk a little about some of the trivial but positive-ish things that have happened in my life these last few months as November comes to a bittersweet end.

  1. I started my third year of med school last Monday!

It’s only been two weeks since I started and I’m already thinking about all the times I could have dropped out and pursued something less emotionally draining and physically exhausting lol. But along with the downs that come with this ocean of stress, there have been a few ups as well that have helped me hold on to at least a little sanity. And I find my gratitude for the loving people I have in my life growing more and more as the days go by, so it’s not all bad I guess. I just hope I survive without too many breakdowns because they’re definitely inevitable with neuro-anatomy and clinics.

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A picture I took of an empty ward at my university’s teaching hospital.

2. I made a new Instagram account in October as a creative space for me to share and experiment with my writing, art journaling, and all that fun stuff.

I want to talk about this more but it’ll just turn out to be too long a description that would probably warrant a post of its own. But yeah, basically, I guess I’m a little closer to finding an online community that helps me grow as much as I possibly can while I tread on the journey to finding my creative niche without feeling guilty for not being amazing at all the forms of expression I keep dabbling in.

(username: @unparadigmed)

3. This is a very trivial one but I finally tried white nail polish lol

I was never really a nail polish person and I’m still not completely one but I do enjoy painting my nails every now and then and as excited as I was to try white nail polish, I was worried it’d just end up looking like I used correction fluid in a fight against boredom. They don’t look perfect obviously (I’m still a rookie at this stuff) but I’m still happy with how it looks and it makes me want to experiment more with different colours and maybe even try my hand at nail art.

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4. I was selected as an executive committee member for my university’s patient welfare charity/society

For someone else it might not be a big deal but for me it is because I feel like although I’m not quite where I want to be yet, I’ve definitely grown much more as a person in these last two years than I thought I would and this was not only a validating self-esteem boost I desperately needed, but it’s also a chance for me to help a lot of people which is something I’ve wanted to commit to for quite some time now. It’s an opportunity I hope I can honour to the best of my abilities.

5. I was finally able to find a downloadable link for Kinslayer (Book Two of The Lotus Wars Series by Jay Kristoff) thanks to some kind people on Instagram and I sped read it yesterday and today and Oh. My. God. I can’t even begin to explain the heaviness I feel at the moment but I did send a long message to my friend in an attempt to do so. I’ll compile all the frenzied emotions this series has elicited in me after I to fall back to reality and read Kinslayer again, like properly read it this time, and after I can find a working link for the third book, Endsinger. I’ll try to do a separate post about the whole trilogy as soon as I (hopefully) finish it, but until then I’ll just have to brace myself for the ocean of feels I know it’s going to make me drown in. Please pray for my emotional stability.

So yeah, these were some of the things that happened in the last few months that I actually felt like talking about. Doing a post like this was surprisingly refreshing, I might do more in the future now. If procrastination and self-doubt don’t take over me, that is.

 

Regards,

V.

 

Posted in 20 Sundays

19) 20 Sundays, Week 12 – Kuzu No Honkai (Scum’s Wish) Anime

02.11.17.

5.18pm

[This post may or may not contain silent spoilers, depending on your definition of a spoiler]

 

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Source: Google

I know it’s not Sunday but I didn’t post last week (on 29th October) for several reasons not worth explaining, so I figured I’d try making up for that challenge cheat day in whatever way I could. Better late than never, right?

 

So I just finished the anime Scum’s Wish; I started it last night after finally finishing K-On! (which deserves a separate post that I’ll probably be too lazy to ever write) and Oh. My. God. Where do I even begin? (You can read the plot summary on Wikipedia, it’s pretty well written there so there’s no need for me to reiterate it).

 

Before I dwell into expressing my already incoherent thoughts with even more incoherent words, I’ll have to give a few warnings about the nature of the anime in case there are people who aren’t comfortable with it or find it downright disgusting. I myself do get a little weirded out by some of these things every now and then but at the same time, I’ve sort of developed a high tolerance for being grossed out which I can attribute to years spent on Twitter. I sound like such an internet pervert lol, but I think there are definitely differences between being perverse and being consciously mature (or aware?) of certain things and I guess one of the controversial aspects of this anime is that it doesn’t always draw the line between the two. So yeah, if you’re not comfortable with being uncomfortable with characters who are not only very aware of their sexualities and sexual preferences but overtly act upon them, too, I’d suggest you don’t watch it. That’s as far as I can elaborate on that.

 

So yeah, getting back to it. Oh. My God.

 

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I won’t deny that I did half expect to be depressed and unsatisfied with the ending but at the same time I also expected not to be, if that makes sense? I guess I just didn’t expect myself to be so unsatisfied with how okay I am with not being okay after watching it? And I know I’m not making any sense but that’s exactly how my feelings about it are, I can’t make sense of them. There’s so much to love about it yet there’s also so much to hate; not a dislike kind of hate but more of an ‘I wish I didn’t like this’ or ‘I wish it didn’t have to be this way even though it’s perfectly imperfect this way’ kind, I guess? I suppose I should talk about the more structured and semi-objective thoughts I have about it before I can continue blabbering on senselessly like this.

 

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The animation is gorgeous, that much I can say clearly. I love the style and the way the scenes would flow and transition, and how the characters’ internal demons and consciences would be depicted as younger versions of themselves. I also loved the opening and closing themes, both the songs and the visuals. From strictly visually and auditory artistic point of views, it’s stunning. One thing that tends to get me hooked in shows that a lot of people might not really care about is the way the episodes are named and how their names are presented. I don’ know about others, but for me it’s one of those details that are seemingly small but can add such important layers to the development of excitement and depth of already great stories. And I absolutely loved the way it was done in this show.

 

I’m very particular about character development and I think it’s a given that it’s one of the most imperative and compelling aspects of good storytelling, and this show does a great job at honing that, but in quite unconventional yet somehow refreshing ways. There was a comment on one of the episodes on Gogo Anime (gogoanime.io) that said ‘another episode of: shitty people, good story’ and for the most part, I completely agree. But there’s something so gripping about how ‘shitty’ they are that’s both unrealistically realistic and realistically unrealistic at the same time and that not only makes you love them as much you hate them, it also makes you feel more emotionally invested in them than you’d like to be or than you would be if it were any other story. There’s something about each of them that’s so deep it feels shallow and something else that’s so shallow it feels deep, if that makes sense (which I’m sure it doesn’t)?

 

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Sometimes good character development follows straightforwardly as you liking the character at the start and then loving them, or disliking them and growing to love them, or disliking them throughout. But this show made me question all definitive thoughts like that and I found myself on a continuous but intermittently tremulous blur of a journey where I’d love a character one minute and hate them the next and even in the end I couldn’t figure out how I felt about most of them. Probably the only exception was Kanai-sensei’s character, who I was mostly fond of at the start but found to be a little boring halfway through, but I feel like that wouldn’t be the case had we gotten more insight into what he was thinking towards the end after he found out about Akane’s true personality.

 

Nevertheless, the overall character development was such a confusing yet equally thought-provoking journey and the fact that we were able to get such in-depth perspectives of all the important characters in just 12 episodes with that level of detail is nothing short of amazing. That’s something a lot of people commented about as well and for good reason.

 

I want to go into so much more detail about all the different emotions, delusions, and convoluted thoughts this show stirred inside of me and how the end effect of all that was me feeling even emptier than I’d anticipated feeling, and how the ending was perfect in some aspects but lacking in others (at least compared to how the show had developed), but I already feel depleted trying to string together whatever I’ve been able to say so far.

 

So I’ll just end this with saying that as far as revolting, dark, twisted, psychological, depressing, hateful, and honest stories go, this is definitely one of my favourites. I highly recommend it if that’s something you’re looking for.

 

Regards,

V.

Posted in 20 Sundays

18) 20 Sundays, Week 11 – Currently Watching: Suspicious Partner

22.10.17.

9.26 pm

 

[This post may or may not contain silent spoilers, depending on your definition of a spoiler]

 

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Source: Google

Keeping up with this blogging challenge has become more saturating and cumbersome than I anticipated this early on into it, but I guess that’s a good wake-up call about the fact that I need to spend my days doing more interesting productive things.

I finally started watching Suspicious Partner the day before yesterday and I’m only 9 episodes in (because I was re-watching another k-drama and an anime at the same time) but I love it already. The story’s quite different from what I expected based on the brief plot summaries I had read and the trailer-ish clips I’d seen in ads, but it’s still amazing so far. Suspense and humour entangled in each other but done right, and characters that are likable and intriguing from the start.

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Source: Google

I already loved Nam Ji-hyun after watching Shopping King Louis a few months back and I love her in Suspicious Partner, too. I’m not going to go into an in-depth character profile, though, because I haven’t even watched a fourth of the show yet so I want to hold onto those thoughts till I’m maybe halfway through it. I do, however, want to say that I’ve never watched any shows with Ji Chang-wook and Choi Tae-joon in them (none that I’m aware of, at least) but I absolutely love them already and the one-sided bromance, semi estranged relationship they have is so adorable it’s crazy.

I’m really looking forward to all the ups and downs and suspense and comedy I’m sure are on their way. Can’t wait to be reduced to an even mushier mush of feels, second-hand embarrassment, and overall wholesome-ness.

Hope you all had/have a great Sunday!

Regards,

V.

 

Posted in 20 Sundays

17) 20 Sundays, Week 10 – A Weird Kind of Writer’s Block

14.10.17

11 pm

 

15.10.17.

4.51 pm

 

(I wrote most of this yesterday therefore there are two time stamps because, like I always say, extra is as extra does).

 

Something I’ve been meaning to do some sort of write up about on some sort of platform for a while now is how it feels to write by hand as opposed to typing pieces out, and I figured this is a good a platform as any to vent about that. So here’s a little excessive opening up and barfing of words because y not, amirite?

 

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I used to write poems and prose and letters and the like by hand all the time and the process of watching the ink mold into the form your fingers have directed is its own kind of therapeutic experience. I was even convinced I’d never be able to express myself fully by or feel as satisfied by typing my feelings out but, like all the things I always say ‘never’ about, I was wrong. And so I went through this sort of withdrawal from handwriting phase due to oversaturation where the vast majority of my thoughts were typed out in word documents and captions on social media and unnecessarily long posts on my blog and for a while I felt like my writing was much better than it’s ever been (which isn’t saying much but relatively speaking, it is) and that I was improving at a much faster rate than when I used to write by hand. I eventually got saturated by that too, though, and I started to miss the raw and wholesome feelings of writing my thoughts directly onto paper where all the spelling mistakes and cutouts and mess ups had just as much of an existence and presence as the final words themselves.

However, because it’s been so long since I’ve gotten absorbed into that process, I’m quite rusty at it now and it feels like I’m starting all over again, my fingers and mind and heart trying to recall what at some point they used to do so effortlessly and happily. So now I’m now going through this phase where any and everything I write is quite rough and broken, jagged at the edges and bumpy on the surface, and almost none of it really feels like me anymore. It’s a weird kind of writer’s block I guess, and I’m working through it as much as I can with as minimal frustration sessions and silent breakdowns as possible, but obviously, like all blocks and learning processes, it’ll take time.

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I just wanted to put out there the fact that a year ago I’d probably have given up on myself or at the very least I wouldn’t have allowed myself the time and space and vulnerability to consciously be okay with not being good at something I used to actually have a tiny bit of confidence in every now and then. But now I’m slowly yet surely learning that healing and learning and growing are as rough and raw and convoluted as my writing these days is, and that that’s okay. I have to love and respect myself enough to let myself pick up the pieces at my own pace and take as many baby steps and make as many mistakes as I need to get to a point where the plateau I reach is one of warmth and belonging rather than burning out and fading away.

 

And I’m probably going to have to go through feelings like these over and over again but the highs and lows are all part of something that is so much greater than the whole of my worries, so much more enriching than the days I feel down. And a lot of that sort of self-care journey involves being able to accept that I’m allowed to be sad and angry and lost sometimes because they’re all part of the road I’ve chosen to walk on. So even if the road is gross and bumpy and I want to take a different one most days, it’s the one I have to and need to take in order to reach where I’m headed. All I need are my own permission and an aspiring healthy relationship with my soul to do so; I just hope I’m able to at least enjoy the views on the way. Wish me luck!

 

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If you have any similar or even completely stories about a writer’s block, artist’s block, or something like that, please do share them in the comments! Maybe we can help each other out?

 

Regards,

V.

 

 

Posted in 20 Sundays

16) 20 Sundays, Week 9 – Finally Getting on the Inktober Bandwagon

08.10.17.

11.36 pm

Warning: this post is basically a barfing of words reflecting incoherent thoughts and a perpetually confused and lost mind. Hope you still choose to stick around.

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Source: Google

Sooo (noticed how I steered clear of using ‘anyway…’ so early in the post? Are you prowwwd of me? I am, sort of). I’m going to kick this off with a semi-melodramatic, semi-self-berating backstory-ish kind of intro because who doesn’t love those, amirite? Here goes *cracks knuckles* *slams keyboard* *cringes at my own failed attempts at being humorous*

The more I waste time scrolling through facebook and instagram, the more I realize how common it is for people to feel like they were once talented and had immense potential as children but eventually grew up either feeling or becoming mediocre and plain. And if there’s one cliché I can relate to (I can relate to a lot, actually, but let’s pretend otherwise for now), it’s definitely this one. I never really felt like a genius at drawing nor did I ever think I was amazing at it or anything, but I used to feel quite comfortable with it like it was my niche, my calling, the epitome how fulfilling life could feel for me. And even if I wasn’t great at it, I did feel like I was fairly decent at it or at least good enough to feel confident showing most of my work to other people without really giving it a second thought. But obviously, as the tale goes, you grow up thinking you’ll get better but in the process of being caught up in insecurities and seeing how amazing other people are and feeling pressured to be good at it, you actually get worse and even whatever little skills and talent you did have regressed.

There’s also the fact that as I grew up, it became more and more difficult to practice regularly but more than that, it became difficult to express myself through drawing. Before, expressing myself through drawing meant letting my feelings out by finding escape in that form, even if what I was drawing was something as simple as a tea-cup. The expression wasn’t the drawing itself, but the process. But as time passed, I too fell into that ‘I want to leave a mark’ abyss that most of my peers and friends fell into and when that happens, you feel more inclined to care about outcomes and being good at something rather than appreciating it for what it means to you or meant to you once upon a time. And because of that, you find yourself turning to it less and less because, whether consciously or unconsciously, you start believing that your connection to it bears no significance in the world and that you’re just wasting your time trying. And as much as that hurts, you eventually condition yourself to accept it and live with it without resistance.

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I began to have the exact same relationship with writing, but more intensely so because I felt an even greater sense of belonging with words than I did with art and so the retreating from it without realizing it part was even more painful. But for a while now I’ve been trying to get back into the flow of both, mostly through art journaling, because the idea that you’re not obligated to be good at them and that you don’t owe anyone that self-imposed obligation finally sank in as a feeling rather than something I had to keep telling myself in hopes I’d genuinely believe it. I could go on about that almost epiphany, but I’ve already digressed a considerable amount, so I’ll save that vent for now.

But basically, the point of all that rambling was to express how much I like the idea of the Inktober trend because it’s a great way to get yourself to start drawing again in a way that makes you feel more connected to artists all over the world rather than intimidated by them. I don’t know how many years this trend has been around for but this is my first year following it (I only got on the bandwagon yesterday, though) and I’m going to try to use it as an opportunity to inspire myself through other people’s passions rather than degrade myself based on their work. And I even set some unwritten rules for myself (which I think I’ll write down later as well so they feel more significant) so I don’t end up wallowing in self-pity again too easily or quickly.

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The rules are vague but they basically iterate the ideology I’m trying to embed in my thinking, which is that it’s okay if I’m not good at drawing or even if I completely suck at it as long as I’m trying and being regular and being honest with myself. It’s supposed to be an outlet and a creative space for me to be myself so even if all I draw is a simple square or a page filled with scribbles, that’s good enough because the point is to just keep drawing and just keep going, regardless of what I make. And at the end of the day, that’s all I really can do.

Hope you all have a great Inktober!

Regards,

V.

P.S. Because extra is as extra does and I’m congenitally extra, I tried to amp up how my power bank looks in a minimalistic and witty way yesterday. Of course, I failed at it (miserably), but I still felt like sharing pictures of it here just to be able to say something I don’t say often enough but repeat in my head a lot: I LOVE STICKER PAPER.

P.P.S. I’m not following all the rules of Inktober itself, such as posting every day or using the assigned prompts, but it’s not like you’re obligated to follow them so it’s all good I guess. Happy drawing! Or scribbling, whatever floats your boat.